Times of India | 7 December 2010
by Rajesh Chandramouli,
CHENNAI: NRI businessman C Sivasankaran, better known as Siva, has acquired a 2.99% stake through open market purchases in the Bangalorebased Karuturi Global in the past few weeks. Known for his acumen to spot emerging businesses and exiting them at fancy valuations, Siva has not just started focusing on the agri-business space, but is now digging deeper into it.
Sivasankaran bought the stake in Karuturi Global to supplement his stake buys in Ruchi Soya and KS Oils. "We have been actively looking at the agri-business space. Early this year, we entered Ruchi and now we have around 11.63% in the company, while our stake in KS Oils is 4.29%," V Srinivasan , group CEO of Siva Ventures told TOI.
There is no hostile attempt in these stake buys, he clarified , laying to rest speculation that Sivasankaran was contemplating ambushing these companies. The company's larger game plan is to bring crude palm oil from Equitorial Palm Oil in Liberia and refine them in India through these companies and sell the produce here. Siva had picked up 30% stake in AIM listed Equitorial Palm for £5 million. "We are planning other investments in the palm oil space, both in India and outside," Srinivasan said. The group, he said was open to buying more stake in these companies . So far, he has invested around Rs 500 crore in these tsake buys and plans to pump in another Rs 1,000-1 ,500 crore.
"We want to consolidate further. As and when the stock valuations of these companies turn attractive, we will buy more. Besides, there are two other companies which we have identified. Our intention is not hostile," Srinivasan said.Siva's love of palm oil stems from his shifting focus to sustainable business. '' We have put our mind and effort in understaning the palm oil business . Wilmar, which is in partnership with Adani group was not there on the edible oil map ten years ago. Today, they are the Google of edible oil business with a market cap of $31 billion. If we play our game properly we have a huge upside ,'' he added.